Sports agent

A sports agent procures and negotiates employment and endorsement contracts for an athlete. Agents are responsible for communications with team owners, managers, coaches, and other individuals. Primarily, agents are used to broker and negotiate contracts for their clients. Also, they are responsible for making recommendations in regard to the athlete's options. In addition to finding income sources, agents often handle public relations matters for their clients. In some large sports agencies, such as IMG, Creative Artists Agencies Roc Nation Sports, and Octagon, agents deal with all aspects of a client's finances, from investment to filing taxes.

Sports agents may be relied upon by their clients for guidance in all business aspects, and sometimes even more broadly. For example, hockey agents start recruiting clients as young as 15, allowing the agent to guide the athlete's career before the NHL draft, which happens usually at 18 years of age.

Due to the length and complexity of contracts, many sports agents are lawyers or have a background in contract law. Agents are expected to be knowledgeable about finance, business management, and financial and risk analysis, as well as sports. It is important for a sports agent to follow trends in sports. Other skills an agent must possess are excellent communication and negotiation skills. Agents must be highly motivated, willing to work long hours, and capable of multitasking. It is very common for agents to be in negotiations on behalf of several clients at one time.[1]

Some agents are part of large companies, and some are on their own.[2] The number of clients an individual agent can handle and how many clients his or her employing agency can handle in total are interdependent variables.

Before the 1990s, most soccer players did not use agents. In some cases, they used their fathers as agents. Because of most parents' naivete about the football business, these young footballers were often given less-than-stellar contracts by football clubs, which yielded lower salaries than they thought they deserved.[3] In Sweden, there were only three licensed agents in 1995.[4] As of 2002, there were 33. According to FIFA, there were 5,187 licensed association football agents world-wide, with 600 agents in Italy alone.[5] Since 2001, agents have not been licensed by FIFA. Instead, agents are now licensed directly by each association.

Sports agents generally receive between 4 and 10% of the athlete's playing contract, and 10 to 20% of the athlete's endorsement contract, although these figures vary. NFL agents are not permitted to receive more than 3%, and NBA agents not more than 4%, of their client's playing contracts.

Media depictions

The popularity of television shows such as Entourage, which stars a talent agent named Ari Gold, and Arliss, have helped glamorize the profession.[6] Prior to that, movies such as Jerry Maguire, Two for the Money, and Any Given Sunday depicted sports agents. In England, ITV's Footballers' Wives put a new spin on sports agents by casting a no-holds-barred female agent Hazel Bailey. The television show Ballers, which started in 2015, also shows a strong depiction of sports agents.

Due to the popularity of these works, there has been increase of attention in the profession. Former Prime Minister Tony Blair's son decided to become a football agent.[7]

Notable sports agents

American football

Football agent Drew Rosenhaus

Australian football




European basketball

Association football


Ice hockey



Notable former sports agents

Sports agency groups

There have been some efforts to transform the sports agency business from an individual, entrepreneurial business, to more of a corporate structure. These experiments met with varying degrees of longevity and success.

Formerly active agencies

Some sports agency firms were once prominent, but are now gone or reorganized:

See also


  1. Job – description of roles of sports agent and some educational programs to prepare for the field
  2. An Industry Of Conglomerates Sports Agent Blog, July 16, 2007
  3. "The Big Interview: Neil Webb" Sunday Times, Nov. 28, 2004, interview with soccer/football player
  4. "Market Saturation of Agents", May 23, 2002, note: source can be translated into English on the website
  5. [ FIFA – Players' agents list – by country]
  6. "So, You Want To Be An Agent? The Entourage Effect" Sports Agent Blog, Dec. 4, 2008
  7. "Blair's son to become a football agent" Nov. 28, 2009, The Independent
  8. Hanzus, Dan (March 4, 2013). "Joe Flacco's Ravens contract includes $52M guaranteed". Around the League. Retrieved March 4, 2013.
  9. "Authentic Athletix Clients". Retrieved September 2011. Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  10. . New York Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. Butler, Steve (March 3, 2008); Show me the money, Ricky Nixon;; Retrieved on March 14, 2009
  12. "Agent says Boras' group 'stalking' his client – MLB – ESPN". May 1, 2006. Retrieved October 6, 2011.
  13. Nicholson, Ben (December 23, 2010). "Nationals Sign Sean Burnett To Two-Year Extension: MLB Rumors". Retrieved October 6, 2011.
  14. McGrath, Ben (August 1, 2011). "Tampa Bay Ray's Late Bloomer Super Sam Fuld". The New Yorker. Retrieved October 6, 2011.
  15. "Interview with Matt Sosnick"
  16. Gus Lubin (November 29, 2010). "The 12 Best Sports Agents In The World". Business Insider. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
  17. "Agents again at forefront of NBA labor dispute", CNN/SI, December 28, 1998, accessed June 16, 2007.
  18. Migala, Dan. "Career Spotlight: David Falk",, June 4, 2001, accessed June 30, 2007.
  19. Janowitz, Neil (March 9, 2012). "After Backing a Dark Horse, Lin's Agent Is Riding High". The New York Times. Retrieved March 10, 2012.
  20. " Agents". Retrieved May 8, 2008.
  21. Nets Star Has Deal to Play in Turkey;The New York Times, 7 July 2011
  23. ; The Morning Journal. Bob Finnan. Retrieved July 31, 2008
  24. ESPN. Evan Alexander Demiriel. Retrieved July 23, 2011
  26. "How Tiger's Top Man is Managing the Crisis", Wall Street Journal, Dec 8, 2009, Wall Street Journal – subscription and fee may be required to access older articles
  27. Reilly, Rick (June 23, 2011). "Golf's new era is here". Retrieved June 23, 2011.
  28. Tait, Alistair (October 21, 2011). "McIlroy leaves Chandler's ISM for Horizon Sports". Golfweek. Retrieved November 21, 2011.
  29. - Features
  30. Michael Barnett
  31. "Barnett joins Rangers' front office". New York Rangers. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  32. "Top 10 Sports Agents -Ask
  33. "Octagon Sports – Hockey – Team Bios – Allan Walsh". Retrieved January 3, 2013.
  34. "Peter Carlisle – Sports Agent for Action Sports". Retrieved January 3, 2013.
  35. "Colleen Howe, 'Mrs. Hockey', dies at 76". Associated Press. March 6, 2009. Retrieved March 7, 2009.
  36. Harig, Bob (July 17, 2011). "Darren Clarke returns in major triumph". Retrieved July 18, 2011.
  37. "Jay-Z Launches Roc Nation Sports Teams With CAA to Co-Represent Robinson Cano". Variety. April 2, 2013. Retrieved April 2, 2013.
  38. "These Drafts Come and Go, and So Do Agents' Fortunes" New York Times, April 28, 2003
  39. ""Steinberg Sells Sports Firm" New York Times October 28, 1999". October 28, 1999. Retrieved October 6, 2011.
  40. "Crash Landing"- ESPN , by Peter Keating, article about Leigh Steinberg

Further reading

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